Ah, books and gaming – my two passions in life. Why hasn’t anyone thought of bringing the two together more often? I guess that turning the fantastical ideas trapped within the confines of the written word into a physical, interactive experience is no easy feat. Words into artwork. Dialogue into acted, actual lines. Imagination-based lore into a realm you can explore… It’s a hard line to walk, where many have tried and failed.
But the successes are great. ‘The Witcher’ series, for example – going from book to game to TV show, a viral phenomenon that geeky gamers just can’t get enough of. ‘The Hobbit’ – the 2003 cult classic that I adored back in the day, capturing the charm of adventuring through Middle-Earth. There’s so much untapped potential in books – books that would make for glorious, wondrous video games. Here are my top picks…
The Night Circus
To be fair, this wouldn’t be an easy book to translate into a video game. While it is one of my favourite books of all-time, the plot is whimsical, wavering and, at times, downright odd. But, really, I just want to be able to attend ‘The Night Circus’ myself, wandering through the mystical tents and learning magic of my own.
Imagine it – creating your own attendee, customizing his or her outfit, learning a skill a mastering it, undergoing side quests for the fellow circus acts… Ah, it would be gloriously unique, with a rich, dripping atmosphere.
‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ is a vast (and unfinished…) tale set in a richly infused world with complex characters and a weaving plot. It’d be hard to turn it into a video game, but not impossible.
Take the spin-off book, ‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’, for example. Exploring the land through Auri’s eyes would make for an unusual video game, a more mellow pace ala ‘Stardew Valley’. Or, for something more adventurous, we could play as Kvothe himself, battling our way through his many adventures. *sigh* I can only dream. At this point, I’ll take whatever form of new media regarding ‘The Kingkiller’ I can get.
Or, to be more precise – a Hogwarts video game! Could you imagine how sick it would be to create your own student, customize their appearance, get sorted (and hopefully choose your Hogwarts house), explore hidden castle secrets, attend classes, learn spells, visit Hogsmeade… Ah, I can only dream.
I know we’ve had a slew of ‘Harry Potter’ video games over the years, all based on the movies – but none of them have come close to the greatness they could’ve been. A full-on Hogwarts roleplaying game would sell ridiculous amounts, and – if it was down well – it could be one of the greatest RPGs ever made. Thankfully, there are leaks circling the web about a ‘Harry Potter’ RPG… so I await it with bated breath.
It’s no secret – I fuckin’ love ‘The Magicians’. The books, the TV show, the characters – everything about it is just amazing, and it’s criminally underrated. So of course I would kill for a ‘Magicians’ video game. I wanna attend Brakebills, man! I wanna go and explore Fillory and be its King! I want it all. It’s a pipe-dream, but one that I’ll forever be clinging to.
The Starless Sea
This is my current read – so I haven’t actually finished it yet (no spoilers please!) but this game would work wonderfully as a ‘Life is Strange’-esque type play through. Swap out the indie music for a mellow, mystical vibe, and let me play as Zachary as I explore the Harbour beneath the world, please! Finding doors, interacting with the many, many cats, discovering hidden secrets… Ah, it would be a dream for a fantasy lover like me.
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Awkward, this has already been done. And… awkward, it wasn’t that great. Sure, at the time it was okay, but they could do so much more!
I want to explore Alagaësia! I want to journey through Eragon’s path, starting as a humble farmer and ending up as a badass Dragon Rider. Speaking of – I want to ride dragons! Imagine soaring through the skies, burning your foes on the battle-field. Really, I’m hoping that the whole ‘Eragon’ franchise gets turned into a TV show soon – and that it blows up, ala ‘Game of Thrones’ style. Then we can let the sweet, sweet games roll in.
Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales
I’m a massive fairytale fan. Disney has my heart. But the tales they are based on tell a much darker tale. Somehow, someway, I’d love for someone to turn them into a video game. In my mind’s eye, it looks like a Telltale-esque type of game, where you make the choices and those choices impact on how the video game ends.
These tales are reaped in darkness – so it’d be up to us to guide our heroes to either the happy Disney endings or the darker tales of the originals.
The Hunger Games
Man, this would work great as an MMO. Now, online games aren’t my particular genre of choice, but you can know damn sure that I’d play the hell out of this game. Imagine making your own character (yeah, yeah, I know I’m addicted to customisable games) and setting foot into the ever-changing arena, ready to be crowned the victor of the Hunger Games? You’d be able to choose your own play style – be it stealth, brute force or poison – choosing from a class-type system to systematically take down your enemies. It’d be sick.
Game of Thrones
Um… Where is my ‘Game of Thrones’ video game? Sure, we had the Telltale series, but that wasn’t enough, man. I want some ‘Witcher’-level gameplay going on here. I want to ride dragons as Dany. I want to train as an assassin like Arya. I want to go to war as Jon Snow. It’s a big ask – the world is huge and the characters are endless – but one day I’d just love for it to happen. Probs not. But hey, I can always binge the series time and time again, right?
There’s so much untapped potential for books to be turned into video games. Hopefully with the success of ‘The Witcher’ series, video game developers will start to take note of this absolute gold mine of inspiration.
What about you guys? Any book you’ve read that’s just dying to be turned into a video game? Any books or games you reckon I should play based on my tastes? Lemme know in the comments down below!
For more geeky stuff, check out my quest for the platinum trophy in ‘Dragon Age: Inquistion’. Or, take a peek at my favourite video game locations.